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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Azure Cross-Region (Global) Load Balancer Now Generally Available

Microsoft Azure Cross-Region (Global) Load Balancer Now Generally Available

Microsoft recently announced the general availability (GA) of Azure cross-region (Global) Load Balancer in all Azure public and national cloud regions.

Azure Load Balancer is a high-performance and ultra-low-latency Layer 4 load-balancing service, catering to both inbound and outbound traffic for UDP and TCP protocols. Microsoft built the service to manage millions of requests per second while guaranteeing optimal availability. Furthermore, Azure Load Balancer is designed to be zone-redundant, ensuring high availability across various Availability Zones.

The global tier of Azure Load Balancer is a cloud-native global network load-balancing solution that offers a cross-region balancer that allows organizations to distribute traffic across multiple Azure regions. The GA release of this tier is now backed by a 99.99% availability SLA similar to the regional tier, has UDP traffic support for IPv4, and offers the setup for floating IP at the cross-region load balancer level.

Organizations can achieve load balancing across their regional offices by implementing a cross-region Load Balancer, which provides them with a unique, globally anycast IP address. Moreover, leveraging Azure's cross-region Load Balancer ensures that traffic is intelligently routed (geo-proximity load-balancing algorithm) to the nearest region resulting in low latency and optimized performance when utilizing the service.

Diagram of cross-region load balancer (Source: Microsoft Networking Blog)

According to the documentation, the tier support scenarios such as:

Kasun Rajapakse, a DevOps engineer at Robeco and Microsoft MVP, commented in a LinkedIn post:

A Cross-region Load Balancer is a critical component in a distributed application architecture, especially when you're aiming for global scale and high availability. It is designed to distribute incoming network traffic across multiple regions, ensuring optimal performance and resilience.

In addition, earlier, John Y., a principal cloud application architect at SXiQ, posted in a LinkedIn post:

Azure Cross-region Load Balancer is a game-changer (when it is ready - currently in preview). This opens so many great use cases and no need to think about "Azure Front-doors" or other crazy over-engineered features. High availability across regions scenarios will be the first application.

Pricing details of Azure Load Balancer are available on the pricing page. In addition, tutorials and documentation are available for guidance.

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